Höðr is Norse God of Darkness.
Höðr (Old Norse: Hǫðr [ˈhɔðr]; often anglicized as Hod, Hoder, or Hodur) is god in Norse mythology. The blind son of Odin and Frigg, he is tricked and guided by Loki into shooting a mistletoe arrow which was to slay the otherwise invulnerable Baldr.
According to the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda, the goddess Frigg, Baldr's mother, made everything in existence swear never to harm Baldr, except for the mistletoe, which she found too unimportant to ask (alternatively, which she found too young to demand an oath from). The gods amused themselves by trying weapons on Baldr and seeing them fail to do any harm. Loki, the mischief-maker, upon finding out about Baldr's one weakness, made a spear from mistletoe, and helped Höðr shoot it at Baldr. In reaction to this, Odin and the giantess Rindr gave birth to Váli, who grew to adulthood within a day and slew Höðr.
The Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus recorded an alternative version of this myth in his Gesta Danorum. In this version, the mortal hero Høtherus and the demi-god Balderus compete for the hand of Nanna. Ultimately, Høtherus slays Balderus.
Two widely divergent versions of this story exist. The more familiar of the two (the one recounted in the above link) comes from the Prose Edda of the medieval Icelander Snorri Sturluson. As Snorri tells it, the god Baldur, who is here portrayed as being a charming, beloved, innocent sufferer, had dreams that foretold his imminent death. His mother, Frigg, went around and obtained oaths from everything in the world that they would not harm her son. The only being she omitted was the mistletoe, as she thought it to be too small and harmless a thing to be of any real consequence in this matter. When the wily trickster Loki discovered this oversight, he fashioned a mistletoe spear.
While all the gods were amusing themselves by throwing every available projectile at Baldur and laughing as the things bounced off of their unharmed companion, Loki approached Hodr – here portrayed as blind and rather gullible – with the mistletoe spear. He convinced Hodr to throw the spear at Baldur to contribute to the game and to honor the strength of his brother. (Hodr and Baldur were both sons of Odin.) With Loki guiding his hand, Hodr launched the spear at Baldur. The weapon pierced him, and, to the shock and horror of all present, he fell down dead on the spot.
Hodr was later killed by Baldur’s avenger, Vali, who seems to have been conceived specifically for this purpose.
In the God of War Series
God of War (2018)
Though Höðr does not appear but he is mentioned by Mimir in the The Lost Pages of Norse Myth. Höðr was present along with the other gods including Idunn, Bragi and Heimdall witness The First Great War. When Freyr was set on fire by the gods, he saw Höðr, Bragi, Sif and Hoenir drunk.
Powers and Abilities
- Immortality: as a Norse God, Höðr is immortal. Only a sufficiently powerful weapon or an extremely powerful being can kill him.
- Baldur is killed by Kratos instead of Höðr because in Norse Mythology, he was tricked by Loki to kill his brother. It is unknown if he is destined to be killed by his half-brother Váli.
- Considering the fact Höðr is mentioned in the Lost Pages of Norse Myth before Freya's marriage to Odin, before Baldur was even born, it's most likely that Höðr is only Baldur's half-brother or have no family relationship with him.
- His Greek equivalent (in terms of his ability over Darkness) is the primordial darkness god Erebus.